Dave Thomas Foundation flips the script on adoption ads

Who: McCann Toronto and the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption-Canada, with Initiative Media, Westside Studio, Craft Toronto and the Ontario SPCA.

What: A new national campaign, “Up for adoption.” It is the organization’s largest campaign to date.

When & Where: Timed to coincide with National Adoption Month and National Adoption Day on Nov. 23, the campaign spans TV, online video, digital, social and transit advertising. It runs through the end of the year.

Why: There are currently 30,000 children awaiting adoption from foster care in Canada—13% of whom have had six or more placements, and 39% of whom have been in foster care for more than four years—but research found that people are more likely to pay attention to animal adoption ads than child adoption.

Through its Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program, the foundation has found adoptive homes for 386 children across the country, with another 86 in pre-adoptive placements.

How: The creative mimics typical animal adoption ads, with adorable animals placed front and centre in pictures with young children, accompanied by a call to action: “Your donation can help him/her find their forever home.” All of the ads direct to a dedicated website, UpForAdoption.ca.

People who visit the site are greeted by an apology—”We’re sorry if you thought we were talking about pets”—followed by an outline of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption’s mandate and a donation button.

The site also houses a series of pictures of children and animals that can be shared via Twitter and Facebook.

And we quote: “Funds raised through the ‘Up For Adoption’ campaign will provide the Foundation with critical financial support to continue expanding the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program across Canada, ensuring that there are recruiters to give the children and teens still waiting to be adopted from foster care the time, resources and support they deserve.” —Rita Soronen, president and CEO of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption-Canada.







Chris Powell